Champions Trophy Sydney 09

The Hockeyroos have finally arrived in Sydney. Over the weekend we played 2 games in Perth against Germany as a warm up to the tournament. We won the first game 2-0 and drew the second 2-2. Yesterday we landed in Sydney and we nestled right in the heart of Darling harbour but unfortunately the view is slightly dampened by the constant rain. This morning we trained out at Homebush in the wet and all got a bit of a feel for the turf we will be playing on for the next 10 days. Cronky and I got to try out our new special edition Aussie pads and kickers. Very exciting. You’ll have to watch fox sports 2 to check them out. The feel in the team is great and we are all very excited about the first game on Saturday. Oh and make sure you keep your tv’s on the Sunrise program tomorrow (Thur 9th) as they will be crossing to our training throughout the program.

Here is a photo of Kate Hollywood, Kobie McGurk, and Casey Eastham (from left) posing at Bondi Beach. This photo is to promote the launch of the Champions Trophy Tournament that begins in Sydney from July 11-19.

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Here is a link to the tournament website;

Bye for now.

Rach (Hockeyroos GK)

5 Minutes with Alistair McGregor

gb team


Alistair McGregor plays club hockey for Loughborough Students and his country, first representing Scotland in 2001 accumulating 114 caps to date. The 28 year old PE teacher received his first Great Britain cap in October 2007 and recently helped Team GB earn a 5th place finish at the Beijing Olympics. This was Great Britain’s best finish since winning Gold in 1988. McGregor’s outstanding performances during the Olympics was reflected when Great Britain Hockey named Alistair as its Athlete of the Year for 2008, he was selected as The Hockey writers player of the year and named for the World All-star team of 2008.

More information on Ali is available via his OBO profile

Hi Ali, 2008 was a massively successfully year for you, congratulations. What’s in-store for the 09/10 season ahead?

I am going to be Loughbough Captain and we will hopefully get back into the EHL. Next Year is the Commonwealth games with Scotland so i will be busy preparing for that.

It always makes me laugh when…i see goalkeepers wearing kit that is not OBO, i feel like going over to them and letting them know the error of their ways.

The thing I love most is…chilling at home with my girlfriend (good answer , that will keep her happy)

It annoys me when…i see OBO goalkeepers not using the ROBO right hand, i wonder if this is a fashion statement they are trying to make.

In my fridge I always havemilk, as I always eat cereal before i go to training.

The book I am currently reading is…The 7 habits of Highly Effective People by Steve Covey.

My favourite TV show is…don’t really have one, we watch lots of TV series when we have time on hockey trips. At the Commonwealth Games a group of 6 of us got hooked on watching 24!!!

My favourite band/group is…too hard to pick one, I love loads of types of music. The lads in the team laugh at my obscure music knowledge, useful for quiz though.

My stand out childhood memory is…when I tried to make my own goalkeeper kit out of polystyrene blocks. The ball hit them once and they fell apart, I was gutted as they took me hours to make.

My ideal holiday is…
one were I can chill out but there also needs to be plenty to do like swimming, watersports etc. I hate lying in the sun doing nothing I get bored very quickly.

My favourite item of OBO kit is…the custom painted helmets. I had a union jack one for the Olympics and loads of people have asked me about it. One guy offered me £500 for it, I think I just laughed at him, that is one item of kit that I will keep forever.

gb helmet

My favourite training exercise is…when you work so hard that our coach is the one that has to stop because he is knackered before you. There is an excellent one tat we do with 8 balls around the D that you have to smother and return to your goal. There is nothing better than the feeling of being worked to the extreme, in a weird way i love that feeling!!!!

The best save I have ever made is…I think its hard to have a best ever save, the most important save i made was in the Olympic Qualifier final vs India when I saved a deflection with my toe at 1-0 up!!!

gb qualification

The worst injury I have had is…when I dislocated my ankle, no not playing hockey, it was Volleyball!!!

The best advise I can pass on is…
be positive in everything that you do, learn from your mistakes and remember goalkeepers really are amazing people!!!!

Got a question you want to ask Ali?
OBO will be running a second part to this interview where we give all keepers resources users the chance to submit a question for Ali. A selection of the best questions will then be answered by Ali.

To submit your question drop a comment with your question before 17th July.

Ali McGregor OBO Profile

We have just added Ali McGregor’s profile to OBO’s list of particularly amazing people.

What club you play for: Loughborough Students
What Country you play for:Scotland and GB
Great achievements: Winning the Olympic Qualifier with GB
Olympic Games 2008
Being named in the World Allstar Team for 2008
List of gear you use: All ROBO gear, why would you use anything else?
Best goalie memory: Winning the Olympic Qualifier in Chile, beating India 2-0
How often do you train: 6 days a week
International caps:114
International debut: 2001 vs India
Any secret tips: Always have a routine that you follow for training and games
Goals in life: To be happy!

Slippery Stuff!

Hey guys and gals,

I don’t know about anyone else, but i love slide-tackling the striker thinking that they have just scored another goal because they get a 1v1 with the goalie. I’m ready and waiting, and then bam! they are on the ground and the ball is back over the halfway line.

Something that helps me achieve this is a small miracle called silicon spray. I spray a layer of this onto my leg guards before every game, (i have 3 practices and 2 games a week), and not only does it protect my pads from wearing down, it lets me slide alot faster on all turfs, (water and sand). Fast sliding means the striker mis judges your tackle, and the ball is yours.

One hint, don’t spray this stuff on your kickers otherwise you will find it alot harder to control the direction of the rebound, and if it get on the bottom of your feet then over you go.

You can buy silicon spray from a place like Repco, Bunnings, or any good automotive or engineering shop for around $10 NZD.

Videos of this great stuff to come.

Any questions please dont hesitate to ask.



Strengthen Those Wrists!

Hey guys and gals,

“I see so many goalkeepers have there hands down by their sides and then cannot move them quick enough to get them to any aerial shots.” (Quoted from my coach).

I do it sometimes i must admit that, but i have found something that can potentially help the lazy people out there like me.

I’m thinking that stronger wrist muscles will make it easier to lift your stick and hands up to those high balls, and also faster.

So here’s my solution;


Its an extremely powerful gyroscope that can put up to 12kg(i think) of pressure on your wrists.

I’m not an expert about it but you can find a bit more info here.

I’m picking that it will be popular with strikers as well but lets not tell them our secrets just yet.

Hope it helps some of you guys.


Rachael Lynch OBO Profile

We welcome Rachael Lynch to OBO’s list of particularly amazing people.

Rachael made her Hockeyroos’ debut at the 2006 Champions Trophy in Amsterdam after some great performance in the 2006 AHL season. With veteran goalkeeper Rachel Imison now retired, Lynch will be looking to make the most of her opportunities.

toni cronk

What club you play for: Greensborough hockey club
What Country you play for: Australia
Great achievements: Hockeyroos selection, Club premiership
List of gear you use: OBO Robo high rebound leg guards and kickers, gloves, pants and body armour.
Best goalie memory: Saving strokes in our club grand final that we won.
How often do you train: Most days – gym, hockey, pilates, club games
International caps: 20
International debut: champions trophy June 2006
Any secret tips: Just watch the ball
Goals in life: Win a gold medal at London Olympics, Aid work as a nurse overseas

Beginner to Advanced Goalie

Now that you’ve put on the pads and learnt the basics of ‘keeping, it’s time to put your ambition into action. To reach your peak and play to your best, you have to work hard to ensure your technique and game style develops properly. If you want the glory at the end of the hard journey, then you’ll happily work hard for it!

Now that you have conquered the basics of being the responsible iron man of your team, the real hard work begins. The hard slog to perfection is more difficult and apparent than it seems; remember that you’re not the only one out there who wants to make the team. Where there’s a will, there’s a way, but you have go out there and practise regularly to prove that you’re the best there is.

There’s no point turning up to a trial thinking that you can just get breeze through it. At the end of the day, when your parents have stopped watching your games, and you have unfamiliar teams and coaches, the only person you can rely on to push yourself is you. Make the most of your opportunities, and do the best you can, otherwise you’ll regret it later. There are a number of older people that you may meet in your sporting career, or workplace who’ll say “I could’ve, should’ve, would’ve but didn’t … get where I wanted to”.

If it’s your dream to make it big, and you want it that badly, don’t let that person be you: you should be prepared to do whatever it takes to get there, and have a smile on your face whilst you’re at it.

How to reach your pinnacle

In order to reach your best, (in fact most goalkeepers in whatever sport don’t reach their best years until they are in their 30s), you will have to work harder than you think is ever possible. Devoting your life to achieving your dreams is just that: you have to sacrifice every waking hour to the sport you wish to play. There are a number of areas that you will need to work on, other than the specifics of save making, to ensure that you can get to the level you deserve.

Constant training

The only way you’re going to stay at a high level is to practise, practise, and practise, and then practise some more. Training continuously week in week out, day in and day out may be extremely draining emotionally and physically, let alone the time management it involves with having to juggle school work or a job to support yourself. However, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and if your ambition is to get to the top one day, or to stay there if you’re already pushing yourself to the highest level of competitivesness, it makes it easier to progress at a quicker rate over a shorter period of time (rather than trying to play at your best by only training once a week).  Top internationals train something like 22 hours a week in their efforts to play thier best at the Olympics! Now that’s commitment!!

Improving your skill base

Now that you have a basic understanding of save types and game use, you need to be adding to your ‘bank of saves’. The more techniques you have under your belt, the greater the ability and chance you have of stopping different shots, the more capable you are to deal with specific situations, knowing how and when to make the save. The better chance you have of stopping the shot when you are forced to think on your feet, the better you will play, whilst easy-to-read game plays will give you the chance to dominate the game.

Improving your decision making

By watching other games, other keepers, whether in local or club games, online on field hockey websites (like videos on YouTube – do a search for field hockey, or more specific like the Olympics, or watch highlights on ), or videoing yourself and watching it back, you can learn how to judge and read the game. Making the right decision will make you the best goalkeeper around: correct save selection, how you react to set plays, and whether or not you play aggressively. Obviously you cannot define how the game will go, but making the right decisions will get you the win. Reading the game will give you an edge, whilst making the right decisions will result in less mistakes, and therefore less goals.

Improving recovery

Recovery is important to your game, since having made the save you will need to recover in time for the next shot, and poor recovery or slow reactions will result in an easy goal for the opposition. By practising a number of drills specific to situations where quick recovery is essential and will separate the good from the bad; poor recovery will leave open net opportunities for the opposing forwards to get easy goals. It is necessary to improve your recoveries to keep you in the game, and up to the fast level of game play. Maintaining an appropriate level of fitness and working on specific body muscle groups to strengthen specific joints and movement, will help and benefit your recovery times.

More advice

Whilst this book may, and hopefully will, guide you through your progression as a developing goalkeeper in field hockey (yes, no matter how good we think we are, we should always be trying to push ourselves to the next level), there is still a lot more to learn about. Even though it can be a challenge to find specific and useful nuggets of information out there on the topic, if you look hard enough, you should be rewarded for your search.

Other books

Although few and far between, there are a few books out there with potential reading material to learn from, concerning how to keep your goal, there are a few gems of knowledge in existence; if you can find them that is. You can find some scraps of information on goalkeeping in old hockey books, with much better guides on stretching and body work found in ice hockey goaltending books. Keep your mind open to new ideas on diving saves and the like, or improving your mental game and rebound control you could read some soccer and ice hockey books.

Other resources

Watching live games

Another easy and great idea is to actually go and watch live games; even if it means watching a game played by one of your club’s teams. By watching the goalkeepers play, you can analyse and pick apart their game, working out their strengths and weaknesses, helping you to simplify yours; by realising their mistakes, you can reduce the number you make. After all, playing the game at the highest level always comes down to making the right decision in the right situation, so cutting down your options and selecting the most efficient will make you a better goalkeeper.